Close encounters and clear wins in SEHA eighth-finals

04 Mar. 2020

Close encounters and clear wins in SEHA eighth-finals

The SEHA-Gazprom League eighth-finals came to an end on Tuesday, with four teams celebrating progression to the quarter-final stage after winning their two-leg play-off encounters. The victors in the eighth-final stage were Tatran Presov, Vojvodina, Nexe and Meshkov Brest. 

Croatian side Nexe had by far the narrowest win of the stage, defeating North Macedonian team Eurofarm Pelister 45:44 on aggregate thanks to a 23:20 win at home, then a 22:24 result against them away. Nexe were one of the semi-finalists in the SEHA League 2018/19, and their chance to reach the final weekend of the competition again remains alive with the eighth-final victory. 

Another semi-finalist from the previous season, Belarusian club Meshkov Brest, had a far clearer victory in their eighth-final. Brest beat Chinese side Beijing Sport University 87:49 on aggregate – 46:26 in the first leg, and 41:23 in the second. Meshkov also count the top scorer of the competition in their squad, with Mikita Vailupau reaching a tally of 90 goals in the season during the eighth-finals – 32 goals clear of the second-ranked top scorer. 

In the all-Serbian pairing between Vojvodina and Metaloplastika, Vojvodina emerged on top – but only with a three-goal margin across the two matches. In the opening clash on Metaloplastika’s court, Vojvodina took a 25:24 victory. In the home leg, the result was 26:24. 

Similar to Brest, Slovakian team Tatran Presov earned a decisive aggregate win, 63:45. Presov defeated Russian club Spartak Moscow 31:23 away in the first leg, then enjoyed a 32:22 victory in their home arena. 

The four eighth-final winners joined the teams qualified for the quarter-finals directly from the group matches, thanks to a ranking of either first or second on their table. In the quarter-finals, Nexe will meet Champions League title holders HC Vardar from North Macedonia, Vojvodina will take on Hungarian Champions League 2018/19 runners-up participants Telekom Veszprém, Presov will face record Croatian champions HC PPD Zagreb, and Brest will play Ukrainian team HC Motor Zaporozhye.

More information on the SEHA League can be found on the official website of the competition.